I'm wondering whether I can use "than" without comparative adjectives or adverbs like the following sentence:

They actually benefit from not having pets than having them.

It sounds right to me. But I cannot confirm that it's correct. I've tried to search for the answers in the net and some grammar books, but have been unsuccessful.


  • 1
    No. In Britain, at least, it is not idiomatic. However Americans do have a way of using "than" such as in "different than" e.g. chalk is different than cheese, whilst in Britain we would say chalk is different to cheese. – WS2 Mar 17 '18 at 13:11
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    Sorry, I didn't spot the omission of "more". You need "They actually benefit more from not having pets than having them." "Having them" is a comparative clause as complement of "than", where "them" is anaphoric to "pets". – BillJ Mar 17 '18 at 13:20
  • It is better to give than to receive. – Nigel J Mar 17 '18 at 16:20
  • Thank you very much. So it seems that I cannot omit comparative adjectives or adverbs when using than in comparison. But in this I like to compare them in the sense of “better” not “more”. However, if I write this sentence as “They actually benefit better from not having pets than having them.”. Does it sound right? Or I should put it another way such as “It’s better for them not to have pets than to have pets.”. Are the two statements grammatically correct? Is one of them preferable to the other? Chirapat – user287279 Mar 18 '18 at 8:35
  • 287279, please notice that you seem to be taking what went before, twisting it and building something different on the remains. Could you go back to "I like to compare…" and post a separate Question without that distortion? – Robbie Goodwin Apr 8 '18 at 17:04

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